Truitt, Sapone and Welden (photo by Daniel McCauley)
Who will come out on top? Landmark, Tallulah Falls, Athens Academy, Holy Innocents', Calvary Day, and Stratford Academy are just some of the teams that have been tossed around, though spectators will probably have to stick around for the last baton exchange to find out who will take the highest step on the podium.
Zack Truitt is going to attempt a triple at McEachern this weekend.
Individually, it's tough to mention workhorses without talking about Landmark's Zack "Metronome" Truitt, as he goes in as the favorite in both the 800 and 1,600, though he also took first in Sectionals in the 400. If all that isn't enough, he will carry the stick in the 4x400 relay to potentially put the War Eagles on top. Check off 'Most Outstanding Track Performer' for Truitt after the 4x400 relay.
Tallulah Falls' has their best squad in school history (photo by Daniel McCauley)
He won't be the only busy man, however, as Tallulah Falls has a couple of names you'll hear over the loudspeakers. Evan Prince is a multi-man in the 800, 1,600, and 3,200, while teammate Grey Bourlet should contend in the pole vault and the 110/300-meter hurdles.
Brogan Korta of Calvary is also expected to rack up some points; Korta came up big at Sectionals in the 110/300-meter hurdles, along with earning a runner-up slot in the pole vault. Welden Davis of Stratford Academy is also a hurdler who comes in with impressive marks.
Athens Academy qualified enough throughout its lineup, and the Spartans may look to Deion Colzie in the high jump, Jackson Scruggs in the distance events, and Johnerio Holt in the shot and discus to earn coveted points, to name only some of the capable Spartans.
William Welden of Holy Innocents (photo by Daniel McCauley)
When talking about distance events, you simply can't overlook one of Holy Innocents' Golden Bears' prize runners in the 'Flyin' Hawaiian' Joe Sapone. Sapone qualified easily and could be the man to beat in the 3,200; he also ran a leg of the Sectional champ 4x800 squad. William Welden also is capable of getting big points in the distance events. If the Bears can come through as a dark horse, it could be due to their emergence in the jumps (Palmer Schultz and Drew Bomar), and their 100 and 200-meter man in Skyler Hall.
When speaking of jumpers, Calvary's Cameron Selders and Jerrel McNair finished 1, 2 at Sectionals, while Stratford's Jack Miscall and Keondre Glover did the same in the high jump.
Individually, Savannah County Day's Kenneth Odom will come in hot in both the 100 and 200, and Eagles Landing Christian has a prize thrower in D.J. Chester, who has had some eye-opening tosses in both the shot and the discus. Paideia's distance duo of Elijah McCauley and Sam Colton will be chasing Truitt in the 1600 and Sapone in the 3200.
If it does come down to the 4x400, Tallulah Falls, Stratford, Athens Academy, and Calvary Day were all solid at Area and Sectionals and may make the final baton change and lap a nail-biter.
Ellie Brewer of Hebron Christian
Moving to the girls, Hebron Christian amassed some big points in their Sectional and will go in with a bullseye on its back and pre-meet favorite, though it's difficult to mention postseason in any sport without tossing out the Wesleyan Wolves' name.
Regardless, Athens Academy, Providence Christian, and several other schools could slip in and make things interesting when the dust clears Saturday at McEachern High School.
Speaking of Hebron Christian, Layton Glisson will be one of the favorites in both the 100 and 200m, while in the distance events, Ellie Brewer is one to watch in the 800, 1,600, and 3,200m. If it does come down to the relays, they are solid across the board, with the 4 X 1, 4 X 8, and 4 X 4 all turning in impressive marks throughout Area and Sectionals. Hebron could also get good points from Georgia Piper in the high jump and Rachel Ruff in the pole vault, to name only some.
Brookstone Girls squad (photo by Daniel McCauley)
Wesleyan has workhorses in Nea Sanders, Margaret Dudley, and Sade Ojanuga. All three could rack up some points. Sanders enters in the 300m hurdles and the triple jump, Dudley in the 100/300m hurdles, and Ojanuga in the hurdles and the high jump. Imani Washington is also a solid thrower; she will be one to watch in both the discus and the shot. When speaking of the throws, St. Vincent's Academy out of Savannah has a good one in Catherine Moore as well.
Looking at Athens Academy, they qualified enough to put up some points also, with Allison Ollendick-Smith and Davis McLanahan covering the 800 through 3,200. The Spartans also have an impressive 4 X 8 relay team and have depth sprinkled in plenty of events down the line.
An individual performer to watch should be Atlanta International's Cara Joyce. After a great cross country season, she is one of the favorites in the 400, 800, and 1,600. Other solo stars to keep your eyes on include Quinn Wall of Heritage (100, 200), Freshman Elizabeth Crowley of Brookstone (400, 800), and Ayden Drake of Providence Christian is the top seed in the 100 & 300 hurdles. Bryce Hackworth of Trinity Christian-Sharpsburg should also score big points in the 100 and 300 hurdles.
As far as a single event, many eyes should be on the 800, as Joyce will be pushed by a more than an impressive field, with Ollendick-Smith and McLanahan of Athens Academy, Paideia's Luna McCauley, Ellie Brewer and Brooke Browning of Hebron, and Elizabeth Crowley of Brookstone, will be just some of the top contenders who are expected to make it an epic battle.